I want to start questioning everything. Literally everything. Because that’s the only way to stop autopilot. And you can’t even start to imagine how much autopilot is ruling your life until you get ridiculously inquisitive.
I want to teach my kids to question everything. Actually they already do, I want to not unteach them to do it.
Why do you want to buy this dress? Because it will make you feel sexy and you plan on wearing it and you really want it? Or because your mom said a long time ago that every woman needs to have a little black dress? Or because you want to impress someone? Or because it’s on sale and your scarcity mindset is tricking you into believing that you need it but really you don’t? Or because you are trying to distract yourself from the feeling of dissatisfaction inside and buying a new dress might do the trick…for a day anyway?
What is your why?
When you start questioning things, answers come. You might want to dig deeper. More answers will come.
Often I notice some unconscious pattern in my parenting and ask myself – “Why do I do it?” – I get the answer – “Because your mom used to do it with you.”
Each time I question my needs, they turn out to be not real needs at all but rather the baggage from the past. When I ask more, it turns out that there are very few things that I truly need. It is so liberating to know. And I am just starting to know it. Trust me, I am very far from fully knowing it yet.
When I ask why I am not doing something, I find fear. I question the fear and find the desire to be loved. I stop. I often don’t go all the way. I don’t ask enough whys. But often just getting to the first layer is enough. It opens the awareness. It stops the autopilot. And fear is still there but it doesn’t look as scary anymore.
There are other questions you can ask. Why is usually the best one to start with. But here are the ones to continue the inquiry.
– What is my long term goal?
– Does it truly matter? And if it doesn’t, what does?
When I stop and ask myself what my long term goal is and if what I am doing is in alignment with that goal, my perspective changes completely.
Do I really need my child to listen to what I say and not question it? Yes, it is convenient and, yes, kids need to listen to their parents. But is obedient my long term goal? Hardly. Free. Passionate. Curious. Persistent. But obedient? No.
I used to tell my son that he needs to go to school and that he needs to learn things he doesn’t like because he needs to know them. But then I asked why. The answer was – “Because that’s what was done to you.” And then I asked – “Is it really my long term goal? Is it really what truly matters? Do I want to grow a person who knows his passions and strengths, who chooses to learn something because he is curious about it, who takes responsibility and who is persistent and not afraid to fail? Or do I want to grow a person who learns only when and what someone else tells him to learn, who follows the path laid out for him by someone else, who doesn’t take responsibility and doesn’t question anything?”
The answer is obvious. Ridiculously obvious. So ridiculously obvious that I want to do something with myself. Something not so good. Because how can a person who writes a blog about conscious living not know such a ridiculously obvious answer right away. How could I not question it right away. But I digress.
Another school example, Nicholas has been asking often recently to skip a day from school or for me to pick him up earlier. And I used to tell him – “No, we can’t do that. We have to go to school.”
I asked him today in the morning – “Would you like to go to school? If not, you can stay at home and I will call your teacher and tell her that you won’t come to school anymore. We will do school at home or find a different school.” I said that either answer was ok. And that it was his choice.
And, no, I wasn’t prepared for homeschooling. But giving him a choice and encouraging him to take responsibility is going to serve my long – term goal. Everything else we can figure out.
He chose to go.
Those were just examples from what I had on my mind lately. But I really want to question everything, not only my parenting practices. Everything. big or small. I encourage you to do the same.
Ask why. Ask if what you are doing is really serving your long- term goal. Ask if what you are doing is in alignment with what truly matters.
Ask. Ask again. Until you find the real answer. Until you find the truth.